More about Le Vieux Manoir
Enchanting and Welcoming
My wife and I have just returned from 3 nights at Le Vieux Manoir and we felt it was one of the most beautiful places we have stayed for a long time. The hotel has been restored with incredible attention to detail and passion and the result is a warm, welcoming, elegant and homely place to stay. My wife particularly loved the bath "in the closet" in the room called Madame Lafayette. The hotel is in the centre of Amboise and is an easy and very gentle walk to the points of interest but despite this it is in a very quiet location with very little in the way of noise, even when sitting in the lovely gardens.
Whilst I can see where the previous reviewer was coming from when he described Gloria as being a little pushy regarding places to visit, I do not think she was in any way overbearing - perhaps the reviewer has misinterpreted her passion for the local area as something more aggressive. Over breakfast it certainly seemed like the guests who had followed her suggestions had thoroughly enjoyed their excursions.
Gloria and Bob were wonderful hosts (it did actually feel like you were staying with them in their home rather than in a hotel) and were very interesting to talk to over a glass of chilled white wine.
I would not hesitate to recommend Le Vieux Manoir to anyone looking to explore the region and a return visit will almost certainly be planned in the near future.
sometimes character makes all the difference . . . a character, that is
Really, this B&B is charming with a capital C. It can't be outdone, and the price is really quite reasonable. Breakfast (included) was to die for. Drinks were complimentary when offered or even asked for. The rooms were immaculate with gorgeous furniture and thoughtful extras.
Others have mentioned Gloria . . . really, she will influence your stay whether you want her to or not. A francophile who will rattle off the faults of the French with little provocation, she can be quite a character. The kicker was when she told us that the restaurant where we would be eating (where she had made reservations for us without asking us first) would be "more formal than you're used to." We just smiled politely and thanked her for the help, and then laughed all through dinner (a lovely experience, although certainly not the meal of our lives) about the responses we could have said and the fact that some in our party had dined with heads of state in palaces around the world. But of course, she's a whole package, and it takes a certain personality to run a place that well (think of the famous soup episode on Seinfeld).
A great way to start France
This was the first place we stayed at in France. We were extremely happy with the Chataeu. Gloria is a wealth of knowledge that should be taken advantage of and not shunned. She may seem over bearing but go with the flow and you will have a great time. She organised a great dinner for us at a local restaurant which is mentioned in the michelin guide. It's only 3 minutes walk away from the Chateau. The breakfast that she prepares is divine and was too much for me. I love chocolate and the hot chocolate she made was amazing. I couldn't finish it just like everything else but you have to try everything. Gloria also told us to go to places like Villandry and the local goat farm which makes an extraordinary goats cheese ice cream. I know it sounds weird but you have to try it. I have seen some comments of people liking to sleep in and were not able to while staying here. I don't recommend it either. Take a few days of at home and sleep in. Don't sleep in at Amboise because there is a lot to see and do, so much food to try, you are wasting it with sleeping in. Anyway, highly recommend the Chataeu and get as much info out of Gloria as you can. You won't have to squeeze hard at all. She'll book all the local places for you. She's an angel and an oracle of Amboise and we loved her to bits. We had a great holiday because of that. Dominik and Amy + in laws.
We loved the Maison Gardien, the separate apt!
Two friends and I were traveling in France, ending up in the Loire Valley. Since there were 3 of us, we had opted for an apartment in Paris, and wanted something similar as a base for visiting chateaux in the valley.
Our travel agent recommended the small separate apartment that is part of the Le Vieux Manoir and it was wonderful! You turn off the small in-town streets of Amboise and find yourself in a beautiful, almost rural retreat. Gloria and Bob have done a brilliant job of creating this beautiful home.
The apartment, connected to the main house but separated by a breezeway, is self contained. Everything you could ever want and incredibly comfortable. As guests in the apartment, you don't participate as bed-and-breakfast guests, in the afternoon wine or the breakfast, but you have your own full kitchen and dining room. Bob or Gloria delivers fresh croissants to your door every morning. And they are very helpful with travelling advice and directions.
I'd recommend it to anyone!
Loved Le Vieux Manoir
For a delightful and charming location to rest your head in the Loire Valley, I highly recommend Le Vieux Manoir. From the welcoming glass of wine in the lovely garden, my pre-teen children and I were made to feel we were at a home away from home in Amboise. Hosts Bob and Gloria Belknap have beautifully refurbished each of this in-town home's rooms and were happy to give us the best tips for sight-seeing, restaurants and directions. Each room is uniquely decorated and the baths are top of the line. We even had to add a sidetrip to the maker of the handmade soaps Gloria stocks, Martin de Candres. Of course it is always the most homely touches that one recalls when a trip is done, and so my son will always remember that he is the one who got to climb the ladder to pick fresh cherries for our breakfast while my daughter kept the two kitties entertained. While we had considered staying at one of the self-contained lodging chateux, we realized the in-town location in Amboise had lots of advantages in terms of our ability to walk to many sights, shopping and eating choices. And Amboise was so centrally located we were not more than 30 minutes from all the major chateaux - Cheneanceau, Chambord, etc.
Loved Le Vieux Manoir
Le Vieux Manoir is a combination of luxury, charm, and hospitality. From the incredible showers (the best we experienced in France), to the amazing mattresses (custom made in the USA), the owners of this gorgeous manor house have truly made this the most comfortable bed and breakfast in the Loire Valley. It's location is ideal - in the heart of the charming town, Amboise. Our hostess, Gloria, was full of wonderful information - taking the time to help us map our journey through the Loire and willing to give recommendations for destinations, restaurants, and anything else we could have imagined. She greets you upon arrival and you immediately are made to feel welcome. We became friends with the other guests of the Manoir, as we shared stories and recommendations over a glass of wine and a cozy fire. Our only disappointment of our visit to Le Vieux Manoir was when we had to depart.
Fabulous, Fabulous, Fabulous
Everything was perfect. The rooms are gorgeous with great attention to detail. The inn keepers are a wealth of information and go out of their way to insure that your stay is perfect including carrying bags and making restaurant suggestions.The breakfast is wonderful. We enjoyed visiting with the other guests, sharing information and sampling a bottle of wine provided by Gloria ( innkeeper ). Highly recommended.
The perfect B & B
Le Vieux Manoir, in a very convenient and central location on rue Rabelais in the town of Amboise, was a great place to stay, (as long you don’t need a lot of hotel services.) The property was purchased a few years ago by Gloria and Bob Belknap, two Bostonians who still own a B&B in Boston (The Terrace Townhouse). Gloria is a character, a bit abrupt. She was having arguments with contractors during our stay, and that might have affected her dispositon a bit, but she responded to all our questions and provided maps and helpful suggestions when asked.
Gloria and Bob have lovingly rebuilt and furnished the house and hired staff to glorify the beautiful front and back gardens. In addition to the "manor house" there is La Maison de Gardien, a semi-detached 2-bedroom cottage where we were staying. She was also in the process of having contractors finish work on a new cottage near the street entrance.
Our cottage had two bedrooms (one with a large bed, one with two twins), an immaculate modern kitchen which included cutlery, plates, glasses, a few pots and pans, a coffeemaker, a refrigerator, microwave, sink, and dishwasher; and one and one-half bathrooms. There were plenty of hot water and good towels, lovely scented soaps. A hair dryer was provided, as were tissues and washcloths.
The living room had a television with lots of English stations, and a c.d. player. Everything about the place was wonderfully detailed, oriented to comfort and beauty, and in pristine condition. Gloria had stocked our refrigerator with butter, juice, jam, and milk, and every morning she delivered 3 fresh croissants in a basket. The main house has more breakfast choices, we think. A grocery market, an newsstand, and a market with excellent fruit and cheeses were 5-10 minute walks away. I highly recommend Le Vieux Manoir. www. le-vieux-manoir. com
We spent a night at Le Vieux Manoir as part of a wine-tasting trip in the Loire Valley. It is as beautiful as the pictures suggest, from the formal garden you see when you turn in at the gate to the public areas to the rooms. We had one of the smaller rooms but it was fine for our needs: tastefully decorated, comfortable, quiet and cool. The conservatory and back garden are also lovely.
We appreciated our hostess' hospitality (immediate offer of wine on arrival, showing us to (and around) our rooms and restaurant recommendations). We didn't need advice on how to organise our day since we'd already planned everything ourselves. She and her husband were, occasionally, rather abrupt (don't even think of putting your bags down on her 300 euro bedspread and don't show up for breakfast before 9 am). There was a moment when we returned late after dinner when the host opened the sitting room door to see who was coming in, but then closed it almost in our faces immediately without saying anything - even though one of us was really hoping to be able to ask for a mug of boiling water for a hot lemon cold sachet. (We realise that they need some downtime away from guests, but if you're going to open the door and look us over, it would be nice to hear hello - which would have given us enough time to ask for what we needed.) One pre-dinner chat and one pre-breakfast chat were probably enough for us (we learned all we needed to know about how much everything cost), but perhaps it's that we are more accustomed to staying in hotels (which are more impersonal).
If you come to Amboise and Le Vieux Manoir, make sure you save enough time to explore the town. We arrived in late afternoon and had to leave the next morning. We regret not being able to stay an extra day in such a beautiful B&B and such a charming town.